Joe Joyce did the unthinkable on Saturday night when he knocked out former world champion, Joseph Parker in the 11th round of their fight that took place at the AO Arena, Manchester, there in England. Joyce is the first man to stop Parker, who, before Saturday’s fight, has only lost twice by unanimous decision. With the win, Joyce won the vacant WBO interim heavyweight title, which means he is the rightful challenger for the WBO heavyweight title next. After the fight, he took the time to call out Oleksandr Usyk, who is the current WBO heavyweight champion.
Parker started the fight quite well, controlling it in the first round. But Joyce picked up the pace later on, steering the fight in his way, eventually giving Parker a bloody nose. Parker dealt Joyce some heavy blows, but the Brit stayed firm on his feet and showed no sign of stopping, even returning Parker’s punches as they came.
In the sixth round, Joyce backed Parker into a corner and unleashed a series of blows relentlessly. Then, in the seventh, he had Parker’s right eye bloody with a deep cut. In the eighth round, Parker launched a blow that shook Joyce, causing him to stagger and almost drop. Parker shot another left in the ninth, but Joyce remained resolute and came back better from every punch.
It was in the 11th round that Joyce sent a left hook flying in the direction of Parker’s jaw, which dropped him, and he missed the referee’s count to suffer his first defeat by knockout.
After the fight, Joyce used the time to call out Usyk, saying, “Usyk, let’s get it on.” The idea of a title fight was also touched by his promoter, Frank Warren, who said they were “going to move heaven and earth” to make sure that the fight with Usyk happens.